The NBA confirmed Friday that it will be holding a short HORSE tournament, the NBA HORSE Challenge Presented by State Farm.
Per ESPN’s Ben Cafardo. Players will face off remotely via video conference, allowing them to compete against each other in their own home gyms while practicing responsible social distancing in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The tournament will function as a fundraiser for pandemic relief, with sponsor State Farm donating over $200,000 to coronavirus response.
The competition should be excellent, with the NBA drawing top talent from both its own league and the WNBA to fill out the bracket. The HORSE tourney will feature All-Stars and Hall of Famers from either league, excitingly showcasing WNBA players as on the same level of skill and talent as their NBA counterparts.
Representing the WNBA are three-time All-Star Allie Quigley of the Chicago Sky, one of the sport’s greatest shooters, as well as WNBA legend, 2011 league MVP, and recent Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Tamika Catchings. On the NBA side of things, we have Rookie of the Year runner-up Trae Young, another prodigious shooter from deep, who made his first All-Star appearance this season for the Atlanta Hawks; as well as fellow 2020 All-Star Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who made his 10th All-Star Game this season.
Rounding out the current NBA players are Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz and two-time Dunk Contest winner (though the league has wisely banned dunking from this competition) Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls. The last two contestants are retired NBA players and current broadcasters Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce, both perennial All-Stars and former champions known for their ability to shoot in clutch moments.
Pulling sharpshooters from two decades of talent across two leagues guarantees that this tourney, the closest thing we have gotten to live basketball since all of this started, will be worth watching and getting REALLY invested in. The first round will be held this Sunday, April 12th at 7PM eastern on ESPN, with the semifinals and championship coming this Thursday, April 16th.
Image Source: ESPN